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December 18, 2015

Turning flat things into round things

 

Making radius countertops for most stone fabricators is simple enough, but things get a little more labor intensive when forming mitered, bowed front edges, essentially creating the illusion of a solid curved piece of stone out of thin, flat material.

So, starting with a slab of 3/4" travertine, we began our usual process by photographing the slab into a scaled digital image.

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After converting the physical measurements of the cabinet into a digital format, they were then superimposed onto the virtual slab for visual layout. Our chief drafter Andrew Beaudoin began to assemble the layout, first by maximizing as much grain flow and matching as possible within the limitations of the material, then manipulating the layout based on the clients personal input and expectations..

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The slab then followed our usual fabrication methods for cutting using a combination of a diamond bridge saw and water jet. 

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With the individual pieces now cut, we started the assembly phase with the two column sections mitered together, following the grain pattern to mimic a solid piece.

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A finished column veneer, cleaned and ready to be set to the cabinet. Notice the partial miter to accommodate the floor base return, and the small mitered cap on the top to cover the protruding section of the cabinet.

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We again utilized the water jet to cut a jig out of a more stable scrap of quartz, at the same radius as the cabinet. The individual segments had been cut in sequence with a five degree edge to accommodate the curvature of the cabinet.

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After gluing the pieces together with epoxy and allowed to dry overnight, the flat segments were then reground into the final radius by one of our capable craftsmen, Chava Resindez.

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The mitered edge is now ready to be glued onto the countertop with industrial epoxy, color matched to the stone.DSC02668.jpg

The next day, with the two sections now dry and permanently bonded together, the excess glue is ground off and polished with a slight radius where the two sections meet. DSC02673.jpg

The finished project, installed. The homeowners were a pleasure to work with, and we wish them all the best in their beautiful new home, built by the fine folks at Stewart Construction. www.stewconstruct.com 

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